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Full text of "Lectures And Essays"

BODY AND MIND                             3

in fact, if we like to look in the same way upon
other subjects as we have been accustomed to
look upon metaphysics—if we regard every
man who has written about mathematics or
mechanics as having just the same right to
speak and to be heard that we give to every
man who has written about metaphysics—then
I think we shall find that exactly the same
thing can be said about the most certain
regions of human science.

Those who like to read the last number of
the Edinbttrgh Revzezv? for example, will find,
from an article on " Comets and Meteors," that
it is at present quite an open question whether
bodies which are shot out from the sun by
eruptive force may not come to circle about
the sun in orbits which are like those of the
planets. Now that is not an open question ;
the supposition is an utterly absurd one, and
has been utterly absurd from the time of
Kepler. Again, those who are curious enough
to read a number of pamphlets that are to be
found here and there may think It is an open
question whether the ratio of the circumference
of a circle to its diameter may not be expressed
by certain finite numbers. It is not an open
question to Science ; it is only open to those
people who do not know any Trigonometry,
and who will not learn it In exactly the

1 October 1874.